Inland Fisheries Ireland will open the fourth draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Cork’s Lower River Lee on Sunday 30th June at 9am.

‘Brown tag’ regulations came into force on the river from February 1st 2024 and will remain in place until September 30th 2024, when the salmon fishing season ends.Commenting on the requirements, Sean Long South-Western River Basin District Director at IFI, stated: “The numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers is declining. The risk of over-fishing puts stocks in further jeopardy.

“Brown tag measures for salmon and sea trout are required on the lower Lee River to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting.

“Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over exploitation, this brown gill tag system is introduced to closely monitor the angling quotas.”

A total of 218 brown tags are available for the season. They will be distributed to anglers with a rod licence via four draws through the 2024 angling season.

Up to a quarter of the available number of brown tags can be issued at one time, therefore, 53 brown tags will be selected through the fourth online lottery on 24th July 2024.

The measures are part of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023 signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, TD.

Anglers interested in entering the fourth draw can apply using IFI’s online link between 9 am on 30th June and midnight on 21st July 2024 only.

Anglers may only receive one Brown Tag per season for use on the R. Lee catchment.

Successful anglers who receive the tags, via the lottery system, place them on the fish – along with a blue tag as proof it was lawfully caught and may be retained for private use.

Anglers not allocated a brown tag are permitted to fish for salmon on a catch-and-release basis on the lower River Lee catchment, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

Anglers must use catch-and-release methods only, involving single or double barbless hooks. Use of worms as bait is not permitted.

Full application details are available through, by phoning IFI’s Macroom office on (026) 41221, or by mailing [email protected]